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There may be treble ahead

A catchy pop song of 2014 had the refrain “I’m all about that bass, no treble” or somesuch throwaway line. The accompanying video, much parodied and pastiched, was popular on teh interwebz and was apparently all about raising body image awareness and itself a pardoy of the modern pop culture in which certain characteristics of the female and male form are emphasised in a modern grotesque..

Anyway, in the spirit of scientific endeavour I did a quick frequency analysis of the song to ascertain whether it really was “all about the bass”. And, guess what? There’s plenty of treble and loads of mid-range frequencies too. Indeed, as you can see from the chart below, at one point in the song there is only very low peaking at the bass end of the audio spectrum. The song, at that point is much more about the treble and plenty about the mids…

all-about-that-bass

Quite bizarrely my tweeting this graphic to DrKiki led to a barage of abuse from a twitter troll, all sub-tweeted after the first addressed tweet. The saddo name for the troll and the fact that they had no followers was also quite bizarre. Their claim was my vaguely (un)funny graphic was the reason no one likes scientists and how we’re all a bunch of…well, you get the picture.

So, is my graphical pastiche of the title of a so-called bubblegum pop song offensive to sociopolitical efforts to remedy almost universal body dysmorphia propagated by the popular media? I really can’t see how (I hadn’t even seen the video until just now, nor listened to the lyrical content other than the refrain) and I’m sure Ms Trainor and her record company would still be laughing all the way to the bank even if it were, given that it was a Grammy-nominated song and one of the biggest-selling tracks of last year, topping the singles charts in 50 countries and selling more than 6 million copies. Yeah, it’s all about that bass, no trouble.

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